Skip navigation

Category Archives: Community

So much has been going on in the world of webhooks that it’s hard to keep up. From PubSubHubbub developments, to new services supporting webhooks … to this plugin for WordPress called HookPress. HookPress opens the WordPress plugin API over webhooks! It was developed by my new buddy Mitcho. He made an excellent screencast to demonstrate the power of HookPress, and the power of the emerging webhooks ecosystem. Check it out:

The webhooks ecosystem is growing pretty fast and it’s really hard to keep up! There’s also a growing number of webhooks evangelists giving talks and writing blog posts about webhooks. It would be great if we could work together to help push this movement even further.

I really would like this blog (and eventually website) to be a place to learn about how to implement webhooks, best practices, and standards, as well as a place to see the movement grow. This means seeing services adopt webhooks, how they’re using them, how their users are using them … new services that provide infrastructure in this kind of event-driven programmable world… and software projects that help. Not just my projects like Hookah and Protocol Droid (yet to be announced), but all the plugins people are writing for various frameworks and open source projects.

So we need more writers on this blog. A lot of people send me links to services that adopted webhooks and I wish I could write about them all. I usually mention them on my Twitter, but that’s not enough to really say everything worth saying about some of them.

If you’d like to join us and write on this blog about webhooks, recurring or as a one-off piece, about anything from how you implemented webhooks, to how you did something clever with them, or why people should adopt them … get in touch with me. :)

I forgot to mention it on here, but yesterday I gave a talk at Pivotal Labs. It’s a whole new talk that tries to get a little bit more into technical implementation details. The slides are also arguably more stylish. Pivotal recorded the talk, so video will be up soon, too. Until then, here are the slides.

And feel free to use these slides or bits from the deck for your own webhooks talk! You can download the original Keynote presentation here.

I have a quick story to share that shows how cool it is to have web hooks. I was writing another post and ended up going on a tangent with this, so I figured I’d give it its own post.

At the last SuperHappyDevHouse, I presented Get Achievements, an XBox Live-style achievement platform I built one night. The only thing was, it had no pretty aesthetic to it, so I rushed what you see there now during DevHouse so I could present it at our lightning talks. I was hacking with a designer friend up until somebody came upstairs to tell me I was up soon, but just then I was struck with a great idea: what if I could add achievements to the DevHouse wiki? Get Achievements requires you to make backend changes to your code, and PBwiki is a hosted service. However, PBwiki recently added web hooks, so theoretically I could use them to trigger the achievements. Could I rig it up in the time I had left?

What I needed to do was have an event in PBwiki POST to a URL on Get Achievements that unlocks an achievement. I needed something simple and quick, so I figured I’d make a login achievement. With this, if I login to the wiki, I’d be rewarded with fanfare and a box saying “Login Achievement Unlocked” as you can do with Get Achievements. But how can I make PBwiki POST to Get Achievements when you login? Well, I can’t, it’s a hosted service. But like I said, they had web hooks, and they included logging in as a hookable event.

At this point I was downstairs less than 10 minutes from my 5 minute lightning talk. I let some people go ahead as I rushed through this sitting on the floor with my laptop. I needed a place to write a hook script for PBwiki that would POST to Get Achievements. Very simple. AppJet was the first place that came to mind, and because I didn’t have to set up an application config file or upload anything with an SDK, I was able to add achievements to the SuperHappyDevHouse wiki in less than 10 minutes… thanks to hooks and AppJet.

I got up there and showed them how cool Get Achievements was, and then I dazzled them with a demo of the DevHouse wiki with a login achievement. Sure, it was more a demo of web hooks than Get Achievements at that point, and because not everybody knows what the hell I’m talking about most of the time, I didn’t get the standing ovation I was looking for, but it went well. I had to go around after, asking my friends if they really got how awesome what I just did was.

From idea to a (mostly) working demo for something that would normally involve making backend code changes, I did as a user, in a panic, terribly fast. Just an example of what’s possible in a world with web hooks…

Just because I think web hooks will change the world doesn’t mean I have to take it seriously. I sort of default to a serious tone in my writing. Hopefully this graphic will lighten things up a bit. It was thrown together by a friend after I came up with the tag line he used in it.

I’ve heard several reports of people getting excited about web hooks from my talks or posts here, and then when they find out what’s actually going on they somehow feel cheated. “As if something that simple could do all that!” I don’t know. Perhaps that’s what happened with this guy. Anyway, I’m considering using it as the unofficial web hooks tag line.

Webhooks: So simple youll think its stupid

I’m putting together a new version of my presentation on Web Hooks and I’d like to get feedback on my previous versions. I’m referring to the talks I have slides for on Slideshare. If you’ve seen any of them, at what point did it all click for you? What made most sense and what made the least sense? What was funniest? What did you think it could do without? I’m trying to see what I should elaborate on or just drop for my new deck.

Also, what do you think I skimped on? What do you want to hear more about? If you have any other kind of feedback, or even suggestions based on content on this blog, let me know in the comments. Thanks!